GORHAM – Gorham High took the first lead of the game, late in the first half.

But whenever the Rams scored, Windham responded, especially quarterback Cody Laberge.

Laberge threw for 148 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 113 yards to lead Windham to a 28-12 victory Friday night at Gorham High.

The defending state champion Eagles (1-2) finally got in the win column, while Gorham dropped to 0-3.

“We’re growing,” Windham Coach Matt Perkins said. “We’re a young team and we’re just trying to battle.

“This is a good win for us. Their offense is tough. They put a lot of pressure on you.”

The Rams, with their misdirection wing-T offense, ate up the clock in the first half, keeping possession for 16 minutes and 13 seconds, to Windham’s 7:47.

The Eagles drove 45 yards on their first possession but fumbled on the Gorham 12, with the Rams’ Nick Greatorex recovering.

On the Rams’ third drive, Kamron Alexander’s 8-yard run on fourth-and-6 kept the drive alive. Gorham went 63 yards on 13 plays, capped by Nick Kilborn’s 3-yard run.

The conversion pass was incomplete, but the Rams led 6-0 with 1:14 left in the half.

“We try not to get down on ourselves,” Laberge said. “We had to regroup and get our bearings.”

Starting at their 22, the Eagles hurried. Laberge completed three of four passes on the drive, finishing it with a 28-yard pass to Drew Gagnon in the end zone, with 14 seconds left in the half. Shawn Francoeur’s extra point gave Windham a 7-6 lead.

“That touchdown before halftime gave us the momentum,” Laberge said. “And then we got the ball back in the second half and scored.”

The Eagles took the second-half kickoff and showed they could gobble up time. Windham drove 80 yards on 12 plays, keeping the ball for 5 minutes, 15 seconds. Laberge fired a strike up the middle to Jeremy Peavey for a 19-yard touchdown and a 14-6 lead.

The Rams responded with a 10-minute, 79-yard drive, capped by Joey Lynch’s 5-yard pass to Kyle Nielsen.

Gorham’s conversion run was stopped, keeping the Rams ahead 14-12 with 8:45 left.

Windham struck back quickly. Nicholas Burton’s kickoff return to the Rams 40 was followed by Laberge’s 30-yard run. Two plays later, Colby Waterhouse scored from the 6 for a 21-12 lead.

Gorham’s last drive ended on Micah Sawyer’s quarterback sack with 4:12 left.

Windham drove to the Gorham 6-yard line.

With 38 seconds left, the Eagles used Burton on an end-around to score an extra touchdown.

Gorham Coach Dave Kilborn was visibly upset on the other sideline, calling over to the Windham side. To prove a point about the Eagles wanting to score, Kilborn elected to kick-off after Windham’s touchdown. The Eagles took a knee on the first play and time expired.

Kilborn declined to comment. Windham’s Perkins said he was taking no chances.

“We’re up by a nine. A fumble, a turnover, onside (kick) We’re running the ball. We’re trying to finish the game,” Perkins said.

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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